Last week we posted a blog discussing the reasons why so many B2B marketers struggle with their account-based marketing (ABM) strategies. While marketers face several important obstacles to ABM success, it’s clear that the most daunting challenge is executing on the data – i.e., identifying, engaging and obtaining info from decision-makers at specified accounts.
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) has become a “must have” line item for 2016. And this enthusiasm isn’t just a fleeting trend. More than just a highly targeted engagement tactic, a full-fledged ABM program supports the post-sale customer lifecycle, using marketing's toolkit to contribute to the overall customer experience at the most profitable accounts.
Thus, ABM represents more than just targeting – it’s a transformation in the way B2B marketing, sales and customer support are perceived and executed.
Yet, ABM is only a smart strategy when executed well. Its promises of efficiency and effectiveness can’t payoff unless marketers have the know-how and ability to reach the decision-makers at accounts showing buy signals. Unfortunately, several common B2B marketing challenges stand in the way of successful execution.
Marketers these days work diligently to establish strong inbound marketing programs that, more often than not, boost awareness and generate a solid sales pipeline. However, as is so often the case in B2B marketing, after several quarters of surging results, inbound results slow and in many cases growth plateaus.
Demand marketers have their work cut out for them. With new initiatives and increasing goals at every turn, it can be challenging to know which areas of focus will have the most impact. The marketing teams making the biggest difference are often those at marketing tech companies – perhaps because these are the organizations driving the leading edge of marketing.
We searched for the best marketing advice from MarTech CMOs and executives and this is what we found.
Orchestrating the diverse platforms, engagement sources and data types that drive demand generation campaigns is one of the most important – and most difficult – jobs in demand marketing.
Those same eclectic systems must be marshaled to collect the analytical insights necessary for optimizing two critical – and often disconnected – elements of demand generation: paid acquisition marketing processes and customer insights that drive revenue.
As a marketing ops or demand gen practitioner, you’re no longer managing a three-piece band but conducting a demand gen orchestra that can easily turn discordant amid its complexity. You’ve got a great opportunity to fine-tune the inefficiencies of paid acquisition, which is crucial but too often overlooked in favor of inbound marketing. The tuning process starts with analytics.
In paid acquisition marketing processes, robust measurement provides several big benefits:
We have a pretty small marketing team at Integrate. Despite (and partly because of) lean resources, we’ve spent the last year laying a solid demand marketing foundation: a strong content plan; a kick-ass website; a defined lead funnel; a fluid data strategy; and (mostly) seamless integrations between marketing technologies. And now that our marketing organization is poised to drive and measure contributions to sales pipeline, we’re faced with some really big goals.
Oh boy. I thought the hard part was over.
In light of today’s #FlipMyFunnel Roadshow kickoff, we thought it timely to throw together an infographic that illustrates the importance and growing adoption of account-based marketing strategies (ABM). The graphic concludes with 8 quick, helpful steps on how to get started with your own ABM program.
If after making your way through the infographic, you’d like to take a deeper dive into ABM strategy development, be sure to check out the “Developing an Account-Based Marketing Program” workbook we recently created with Heinz Marketing.
Little-recognized fact: Each year, some of the most forward-thinking, technology-driven marketing organizations spend 10x to 20x more on top-funnel leads – via acquisition tactics and services such as lead generation, content syndication, events, webinars, media, third-party social engagement, etc. – than on their marketing technology stacks.
Yet while budget goes to paid acquisition programs, marketer time and energy remains focused on marketing tech that caters to other initiatives. Paid acquisition marketing processes thus remain highly outdated, manual and disjointed.
What if we invested the same effort and capitalized on the same MarTech revolution to create greater efficiencies and insights regarding paid acquisition initiatives? We’d all quickly become much better marketers.
Many marketers view inbound marketing as the end-all, be-all of demand generation, while others position outbound tactics as the most important for acquiring new leads and fueling sales pipeline.
We marketers can easily become experts in one area, creating an unintended bias toward specific marketing channels simply because we’re comfortable working with those strategies.
By focusing too much on one strategy or channel, we’re missing out on the opportunity to deliver significantly better results for our company and our careers.
If you’re a B2B marketer, you’re likely hearing the term Account-Based Marketing everywhere you turn. A quick search of your inbox might reveal a couple hundred emails in the last 90 days touting the latest and greatest in ABM content. And for good reason… In an era where marketing is on the hook to create customers and drive revenue, it makes sense to aim marketing efforts at companies that match your ideal customer profiles.
But knowing that it’s the right thing to do and getting the executive buy-in to do it are two completely different things. Marketers need more than just theoretical explanations as to how account-based marketing can help you reach the right customers. They need strategic and tactical plans that they can follow. They need to be able to go to their upper management and say “we need to implement an ABM program and this is how we’re going to do it.”